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Dec 15, 2019 3:31 AM
valentine acquires a new house
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“I haven’t quite decided, yet. We’ll need to settle in, first.”

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Jean has no idea what to do with this.

"...a chicken laid an egg in my lap," he offers.

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“...oh.”

Cato unbuckles his seatbelt and stands, walks to the back of the plane, stepping carefully around a bird that’s wandering in the aisle.

Carefully, he lifts the small brown chicken out of Jean’s lap, and retrieves her egg.

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“...I’m going to unload the cargo.”

She slips around the prince(?) and off the plane.

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"Thank you."

He'll go see if the pilot wants help with the cargo.

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“Give me the egg,” he hears, as he descends the stairs.

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“No.”

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The pilot welcomes his help unloading, gives him occasional instructions. She’s larger than him, and substantially stronger, but two pairs of hands help.

She doesn’t ask questions.

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This is probably for the best.

He doesn't either.

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The next hours are uneventful.

There’s a truck waiting for them at the airstrip that’s promptly loaded. Valentine and Cato sit in the cab — Jean is relegated to the back, along with the chickens.

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(The prince leaves the plane with a promise of a future visit, a triumphant expression, and an egg.)

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It’s an hour’s drive to their destination.

This house is larger than the one they left and in an odd neo-victorian style, beautifully constructed, surrounded by white roses. There’s a wooded area out in the distance.

Cato moves Valentine, then the chickens — he leaves all of the luggage but two suitcases in the truck, and takes Jean inside.

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Valentine has taken a seat in the living room. It’s already partially furnished, but somewhat sparsely, walls still bare and bookshelves empty.

“Remind me to move the furniture,” he says, without opening his eyes.

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You’ll remember.

“...okay. I’ll remind you.”

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"Can I ... do anything ...?"

He stands awkwardly, mostly staring at his own feet.

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“Doctor Sato will be here shortly, and will look at your hand. Please make sure your recording makes it to the appropriate people. I...believe there’s a computer in the study? Exercise care, proxy responsibly, et cetera.”

He sounds somewhat distant.

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"...someone else usually handles computers for me. -- my hand is fine."

It's really absurd to treat him, under the circumstances.

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“I’ll help.”

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“Your hand is broken, and I will not leave it broken.”

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It's not going to have time to heal. "Yes, sir. -- thank you," to Cato.

 

Jean, it transpires, knows very few things about computers. He can more or less manage sending an email.

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Cato, who spent his later teenage years in the woods with unusually little human contact, knows many, many things about computers.

He sees the thumbnail for the video once, and makes an effort not to look at it again.

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Jean does a remarkably good imitation of not being in the room, throughout.

(He wonders how long he will have to wait, before Valentine is healed enough to kill him.)

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Cato gets the file to the appropriate people. It's something of a process.

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By the time they make it back into the living room, the doctor has arrived.

"...it seems very clean. But I'll want to bring you in to be sure."

He's replaced Jean's homemade sling with one he brought with him.

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